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placeholder  October 1, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Marian devotion

As a Catholic devoted to Mary, I am upset with The Vatican.

Mary has been asking us to pray the rosary since Fatima. Growing up, the Church urged all Catholics to a daily rosary. Because of this, Russian communism failed.

Mary warned us at Fatima that if we don't pray and sacrifice, the world will face terrible destruction.

The world is witnessing its destruction on a daily basis. I believe each pastor should be begging all Catholics to pray the rosary to save the world

Ken Nahm
Dublin


[Editor's note: The Holy Father and the Holy See have not done anything to discourage the praying of the rosary, including as a weapon for world peace. In 2002 Blessed John Paul II wrote "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," on the Holy Rosary. Pope John Paul taught "one cannot recite the rosary without feeling caught up in a clear commitment to advancing peace, especially in the land of Jesus, still so sorely afflicted and so close to the heart of every Christian."]



Vote conscience

The contradictions and complexities evident in the Church today appear in The Catholic Voice consistently.

While the Catholic bishops question the budget plan of one candidate, others rail against the health care plan of another. Contrary to some articles, I do not believe one party holds more Catholic values than another. Perhaps it is best if each of us makes our own voting decision by using our own informed conscience.

Mary D. Ghidella
El Cerrito


[Editor's note: Not only are Catholics encouraged to vote according to their conscience, they are in fact required to do so. But if conscience has such rights it is because we have an even greater obligation to properly form our conscience according to the principles of Catholic moral doctrine. It is possible to have a misinformed conscience even if we are completely sincere and at peace with its dictates. The US bishops have written a letter on this subject entitled "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship."]



Church and state

Most Catholic Voice readers would agree that the government supports many practices that are contrary to God's law.

Abortion, divorce, same-sex marriage and a great lowering of moral standards in all forms of media are just a few of the areas affected.

Ever since the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade approved abortion on demand the Democratic Party has been the strongest supporter of these changes in our society. Therefore if we want to do something to get our country back on track we need to stop supporting this organization.

I believe we have a moral obligation to withhold our support at this time. Sure we all understand that our country was founded on the principle of separation of church and state but this did not mean separation of God and state.

Selectively voting for individual candidates based upon some campaign rhetoric doesn't work.

David Brusiee
Pleasanton




Vatican II book

Brother John Samaha's informative presentation (Voice, Sept. 17) on "Vatican II: 50 years and still challenging," invites us all to (re)read the documents of the Council. For most people this will be a formidable challenge.

There is still a "battle for meaning" within the Church about the individual as well as overall canon of documents and a basic (re)reading of these documents will be far from sufficient for the average reader.

There is an excellent new book I recommend to assist in this challenge. It is a short book (text under 200 pages, amply supported for the adventuresome by footnotes and an extensive bibliography) written by a bright young Italian who holds a doctoral degree from the University of Turin and now is an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

The book is by Massimo Faggiolli and titled: "Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning" and is a masterful presentation of the various sides of the ongoing discussion. In very readable language he summarizes the two basic camps (Council as continuity and Council as singular event), their points of agreement and points of disagreement. This book is an attempt to go beyond a clash of interpretations in order to understand the role of the Council in present-day Catholicism.

He suggests there are three lessons to be derived from the "battle for meaning": First: 50 years is not enough time to permit a cohesive interpretation of the Council. Second: debate is to a considerable extent the product of a surprisingly large external framework that encompasses clergy and laity in the diverse activities of the Church. Third: the debate has ensured that knowing less about the Council is an unviable option. To know more is to immerse oneself in a Church irreversibly shaped by the Council. To know more ensures deepening your understanding, not only of what happened during but, equally importantly, after the Council.

Jim McCrea
Piedmont




'My soul is healed'

"Lord I am not worthy …" This well known quotation is attributed to a Roman centurion who asked for Jesus' help in healing his (the centurion's) servant. The centurion passed judgment only on himself.

No one, neither priest nor bishop can pass judgment on the worthiness of another to receive Holy Communion, which has been suggested (Forum, Sept. 4). Further, the words of Consecration, attributed to our Savior and said twice in every Mass, give a clear mandate to "...take this ALL of you and eat of/drink from it ..." He was speaking to a disciple who had plotted to betray Him, and would soon carry out his treachery, to another about to deny he even knew Him and to 10 others who would soon desert Him when the going got tough. He was speaking to all of us, as well as to His followers.

Jesus did not make reception of His body and blood contingent upon any man made criterion. He intended it to be a means for us "to have life..." Perhaps the words of the Gospel in the initial quotation should read, "Lord, I am now worthy to receive You, for You have said the Word and my soul is healed."

John Kearney
Hayward




Bad Voice

I can't begin to express how disappointed I was to see the Voice join in the lie that is being promulgated by the hierarchy about the Health Care Act. In the article, "Tremendous incursion by government into health care," (Voice, Sept. 17) the Voice makes the untruthful assertion that the health care act forces Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. This is an out and out lie! A lie that keeps getting repeated in hopes of convincing people that it's true. The Germans used the same tactic to convince the people that the Jews were a threat to them.

It used to be that The Voice could be counted on to tell the story truthfully and fairly, but that has drastically changed, and clearly I can't trust The Voice any longer.

Kara Speltz
Oakland


[Editor's note: The Voice made no assertion. It reported accurately a talk given by William Cox, president and CEO of the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, a Sacramento forum of more than 50 Catholic hospitals, to the East Bay group, Catholics@work.]

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Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

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